Sunday, December 9, 2007

Spyro Gyra: Good to Go at Jazz & Blues


Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival has netted another big act, the most prolific, commercially lucrative American Jazz Fusion band, Spyro Gyra.

Many middle-aged Jamaicans would be, wittingly or unwittingly, familiar with Spyro Gyra through the band’s breakthrough instrumental Morning Dance that was the theme song to Neville Willoughby’s Evening People Show on RJR. And, Willoughby did most to popularize the group in Jamaica.

Formed in Buffalo, New York in 1975 and led by saxophonist Jay Beckenstein, Spyro Gyra has been widely recognized for its US Top 5 hits Shaker Song, Catching the Sun, and Café Amore. The group, however, has released 26 albums, between 1978-2007, and amassed sales well over 10 million making them the most prolific group in jazz-fusion idiom.

According to Wikipedia, “Spyro Gyra's music has been criticized for being light-weight and for emphasizing melody over improvisation. They have nevertheless been praised as skilled instrumentalists and for their live performances, which average nearly 100 per year”.
Spyro Gyra is up for 2 Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the single "Simple Pleasures" from the CD Good To Go-Go which is also nominated in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category.
Personnel:
Jay Beckenstein - saxophones
Tom Schuman - piano, keyboards
Julio Fernandez - guitars
Scott Ambush - bass
Bonny Bonaparte - drums, percussion

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

do you know the name of the instrumental they used to play as the intro to sunday contact back in the day?

Ricardo Wheeler said...

Yeah anyone, the sunday contact theme song what is it ???